Baking steels are all the craze in the pizza industry! Today I explain the tips and tricks of using a steel independently, or in tandem with a pizza stone to create the crisp pizza crust we all crave.
The problem with most home ovens, gas or electric, is that they just aren't capable of achieving the level of high heat that parlor ovens put out. By using a pizza steel, you can simulate the real deal. When we talk about using a pizza steel, we are talking about using the capability of steel to conduct a large amount of heat for extended periods of time. A good crust needs high amounts of heat that a steel gives to create a pie reminiscent of your favorite pizza restaurant.
Pizza Steel Guidelines
- Find the correct rack adjustment in your oven. Typically the best rack position for cooking pizza is the top rack, but this usually depends on your oven broiler.
- Preheat pizza steel for a minimum of 30 - 45 minutes before cooking your pizza.
- Keep the oven light on and keep an eye on the pizza. Never rely solely on a timer!
Pizza Steel Instructions
- Pre-heat oven on highest heat setting, typically 500°F to 550°F. Preheat for at least 30 minutes with steel on the preferred rack.
- Turn oven dial to “Broil” and transfer pizza to the hot steel with a pizza peel dusted with flour.
- Start with 5 minutes cooking time, but keep an eye on your pizza as it may take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes to finish. Total baking time for your pizza will vary based on a number of factors, including how hot the steel is.
- Remove pizza from the oven, give it 30 seconds to a minute for the cheese to coagulate before cutting.
Tip: If your pizza doesn't slide off of the peel with a forward/backward motion, try moving the handle side to side (left and right).
Steel and Stone Instructions:
You can simulate the results of a wood-burning pizza oven by using a pizza steel and stone together. The intense heat from the steel will help to achieve a perfectly crisp crust, while the radiant heat from the stone will help to brown the top of the crust and cook the toppings like the elevated ambient heat of a pizza oven. If you have a bottom drawer broiler, follow the instructions below.
- Place pizza steel on the bottom rack in your oven.
- Place pizza stone on the top rack in your oven.
- Follow steps 2 through 4 above.
The pizza stone will create a pocket of air heat to cook toppings while the steel crisps your crust. That’s it! Fresh pizzeria-style pizza from the comfort of your own kitchen with a baking steel, pizza stone - or both! Keep in mind if you master these methods you may have to fend off uninvited guests in your kitchen. Stay tuned to our blogs for more tips and recipe instruction to learn more about the art of pie.